The Travels of Mouse: Smells familiar!

We’re here again!

I do like revisiting familiar places and persuading the Staff to let me make a thorough inspection of all the places I sniffed before! Anyway, I shall start at the beginning…

Because were were only going 300km or so yesterday, Mum and Dad didn’t need to pack up in a great rush in the morning to get away early. A fact I appreciate because it means I spend a bit longer lounging in the air conditioned caravan instead of in the car waiting for them to hook everything up. And I get a decent walk after breakfast instead of having my, ahem, inspection and evacuation rushed. So, it was Ingham for the first stop, and Fiori with Love, mentioned in an earlier trip report for the great coffee and lumberjack cake, and let me just say, very agreeable puppacino.

It’s so much nicer when they don’t make it so hot that I have to wait for it to cool enough for me to drink. Of course, the Staff tore into portions of cake, and Mum actually had hazelnut hot chocolate rather than coffee, although how she can drink that stuff is beyond me. I mean, it’s actually toxic to doggos. Humans showing off how tough they are, if you ask me…

So, onward to the next food stop, which is traditionally Cardwell. On the way into town, Mum tentatively suggested they might consider mud-crab sandwiches (a local speciality) instead of a pie, but Dad held out for the meaty option, which I heartily endorsed. Mum was overruled… (I’ll get my way one of these days – Mum). You don’t need me to tell you that the pies were up to scratch, but I did feel the need to check in case anyone had dropped their pie – in the interests of tidying up, you understand.

And finally, we were in the home stretch. I made a point of keeping the Staff to their assigned tasks by supervising from the back seat. I felt they were getting too interested in the talking book they had playing rather than giving me strokies and passing back snacks and treats. Still, we got to Cairns nice and early, my enclosure was set up, my bed was put out and the Staff sat outside in the shade with me, with Mum messing about with that fabric stuff and Dad bashing away at his plank thing with his front paws. A pleasant evening all round, a spot of dinner (curried lamb with coconut, chana dal, vegetables and flatbreads for the Staff), a nice walk around the park sniffing all the corners and leaving comments myself, and so to bed.

But in the morning, O Drama! The coffee machine isn’t working! Apparently this is a Staff Catastrophe and requires immediate action as soon as the shops open. I can’t see what the fuss is about myself, except that the Staff function a whole lot more efficiently with a cup of that stuff inside them. There are also some groceries required, including food for Me, which is obviously vital! So long as a run to the dog park is included in the morning’s expedition, I shall be content. Mum says she also has to make dog soup and do laundry (why humans wear clothes is a perennial mystery to me), and Dad is going to put out some side awnings to keep out the hot afternoon sun.

So, that’s the Staff activities sorted out. I shall catch up on my important beauty sleep.


The Travels of Mouse: north to the sun #1

It’s happening again.

The Staff are taking liberties with my possessions and schedule. It’s an Outrage. For the past day, they have been bustling about with stuff in their paws, scarcely taking a moment to give me strokies or a treat. I grant you that meals and walkies arrived on time and up to standard, but it’s upsetting to have this stuff going on behind my back.

Later: Well, all is explained. They are loading my fence into the back of the car, my travel water bowl and a large bag of kibble are sitting on the bench, the Quartermaster (Mum) has put all my stuff into either the car or the caravan, and only my bed (currently occupied by Me) has not been whipped out from under my nose and taken away. Dad says he has bought extra fencing so my yard is now twice the size, which will be nice.

A solitary lead still hangs from the hook, so I expect there’ll be walkies before we go… Mum says we’re going north, even further north than Townsville, where I was adopted, but that we’ll be taking time out to visit friends at GAP Queensland in Townsville so I can say hello to Miss Nikki and the other greyhounds at the kennels. After that, we’ll go up to Cairns for just over a week, then home again.

I like Miz Lizzie the caravan. My bed is comfy, meals arrive at the usual time, Dad’s bunk is perfectly placed beside my bed for strokies whenever I want them, and there are fascinating new walks and smells to enjoy when we go out. Mum and Dad find fun places for me to run around like a maniac and stretch my legs along the way, and we all enjoy trying out all the dog-friendly things to do when we get there. Mum has printed out a list of cafés in Cairns where dogs are welcome and people can come along too. She says there will be beaches too, in case I should feel like a spot of cautious paddling (well, jellyfish, saltwater crocodiles and sharks permitting, of course, this is Far North Queensland, after all). I’ll have to think about that one…

Now, if only the Staff would hurry up and finish packing stuff, we can be on our way.

Miz Lizzie Adventures: Crackling, Copperlode and Caution!

Another day of mixed gastronomy and sightseeing.

Well, aren’t the best holidays like that? Yesterday we went into Cairns city to try and get a few errands done. Things on order which we couldn’t get at home, a fruitless attempt to get some clip-on sunglasses for me (nuh-uh, frames too large. The search continues…), some groceries, a book and of course, lunch.

Apologies in advance to the vegetarians, who may wish to cover their eyes and ears and sing lalalalala while I wax lyrical about the lavish and luscious roast pork, crackling, gravy and apple sauce subs with a side of sweet potato fries dusted with smoked paprika, salt and oregano.

Moaning noises ensued. They were really thickly stuffed, fresh, hot and delicious.

OK, it’s safe to look again.

After our shopping and nosh-fest, we decided a bit of scenery and fresh air was called for, so we headed out of the city northwards, and turned off up towards Copperlode Dam. They’re still carrying Natural Disaster Repairs up there after the last cyclone, so we couldn’t go all the way to the top and the dam itself (Lake Morris), but did manage to capture some good photos of the view southeast over Cairns and out to sea from the various lookout spots on the way up. It was hazy so you don’t get a tremendous amount of detail, but the city lies in a bowl of rainforested mountains, and the forest really does stretch all the way down to the sea except at the city centre.

Some obligatory nature shots. Well, it is beautiful round here… I love how the fig fruits grow directly out of the trunk of the tree in this species.





And finally, confirmation that Australia has some of the grumpiest trees in the world, never mind the snakes, spiders, sharks crocodiles, jellyfish and cone shells. Click on the photo for more detail…

Welcome to Australia. The country’s beaut, if you can survive the flora and fauna!


Time Out

Home again after 4 days away

We’ve had two days of fairly cruisey driving, and two days of pure fun. Can’t wait to do it again.

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The Husband of Chiconia and the Joy Machine

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Looking south towards Cairns from the road north to Port Douglas. The rainforest sweeps right down to the beach.

We drove up to Cairns, a 10 hour trip of something over 700km. We had the scooter on a trailer behind the car, and once we were there, the car didn’t get a look-in; we tore around on the scooter and gloated at the ease of parking, the sheer joy of zooming through traffic. We went up and down winding ranges between the sea and the Atherton Tableland – and then up and down again because it was such fun. We tootled along the coast road north to Port Douglas, inland to Mossman and then up and down another range. We drank beautiful coffee and ate luscious cakes, we wolfed down fabulous curries and fresh fruit smoothies.

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On the road home. Hinchinbrook Island from Cardwell, which was flattened in 2011 by Tropical Cyclone Yasi

In short, we had a ball. Now, back to reality…